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The Binion's Quagmire

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 6th September 2011 3:35am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 12


Binion's has the best website ever. No they didn't update it. But much like every other property that slid into oblivion - Westward Ho, New Frontier and Bourbon Street to be specific - Binion's website is aging like a fine jug of milk, verging on becoming a solid block of cheeeese, Grommit.

Exhibit A: "New Hot Slots"


Nice bucket. Is that former Barker's Beauty Dian Parkinson ?

Exhibit B: "Great Accommodations"


Binion's accommodations are so great they've been closed for just about two years. A virtual eon in internet time.

Also... is that Dr. Dave doing a little moonlight modeling?

Exhibit C: fire up your headphones or whatever you listen to the internet with and check out their jingle after the chick'n pick'n intro guitar solo and Hammond B3 patch comes the catch phrase:

Good food! Good whisky! Good gamble! Binions Gamblin' Hall!


With buckets of cash being dumped into Golden Nugget, El Cortez and now The Plaza, the odds of Binions making a comeback are in motion. Does the influx of upgrades and enthusiasm surrounding Binion's give owners TLC Enterprises inspiration or feed fears that they might be too far down the rabbit hole for Binions to be competitive.

Imagine if a new, deep pocketed owner took control of the Binions. One who planned to invest in the joint (and brand) as a long term project, pouring in 3x the capital the Plaza guys did and doing an extreme renovation/repositioning.

Turn all guest rooms into boutique modern suites by knocking down every other wall and designing them with a non-stop party in mind. The casino - keep the rustic charm but turn the rhinestone cowboy up to 11. Cowgirl cocktail waitresses dressed up like the neon Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders on acid. In addition to $2 buds, offer top shelf liquor and be known all over the world for having THE BEST selection of brown booze on the continent. Put in a beyond great BBQ place. And a truly revolutionary burger place which ranges from basic $5 burger all the way to up to oddball foodie stuff like rattlesnake, rabbit, alligator, duck, frogs or Ortolan burgers.

Take the biggest action anywhere and offer the best odds. Make the slots playable, open up the VP paytables. Take all bets. Turtle races. Make the casino floor a hot bed of folding green looking for a place to multiply itself or get lost in someones underpants. Install a classic floor show right on the casino floor, kick line of dancing girls, a little t&a, some bawdy comedy, a virtuoso barrelhouse piana player, real rockabilly or hard country swing bands, a tattoo joint. Make the place feel like Porky's meets Encore and make it hard. Rough. Real. Exciting.

Reminder: Chuck's Binions Buyout Bake Sale is Thursday during lunch/recess so don't forget to bring some extra change to school.

Tagged: binions   


Comments & Discussion:

Can the rooftop pool feature neon palm trees and animatronic convulsing nude likenesses of Elizabeth Berkley and Kyle MacLachlan ala "Showgirls"?

Here's as solid an argument that I've yet seen for simply handing a property over to the Dons at Vegas Internet Mafia.

"Dreams can come true. Hopefully, the legendary Binion name will not be lost. I wonder if the casino is at all profitable? Dian Parkinson? I met her years ago and she was a real babe. This is not who I remember.

Fuckin' love it!

I do what I can to make ends meet.

The hotel room in the accommodations section doesn't look like any room I've stayed in at Binion's. The two rooms I've stayed in looked like they were last renovated when Ted was still alive and kicking.

MTR and TLC have done a pretty decent job getting the casino floor back into shape after years of neglect, but there's still a lot to be done here. I was out in Vegas right around the time of the hotel closure announcement, and I had been told by one of the dealers the day prior to the announcement that the hotel side was going to be closed for renovations. I doubt TLC has the capital to renovate those rooms, as they've been in arrears on their rent payments to the owners of some of the parcels the Four Queens and Binion's sit on. TLC was trying to live up to the words of Benny Binion, but he sure as hell wouldn't have craps tables with such low odds nor would he have allowed 6:5 blackjack.

It would definitely take an owner with some deep pockets to bring the hotel back on line and with the sort of quality that is becoming the rule and not the exception on Fremont Street. Same goes with the food choices as well. It's a damn crime that the famous coffee shop space is now being used as a banquet hall and coffee shop is what was previously one of the snack bars.

They should take a page from the Plaza, the El Cortez and the Golden Gate and play up the Old Vegas vibe in the rooms. Heck, they could even have the Hunter S. Thompson Suite, as I'm sure there are plenty of folks that would love to stay in the same room in the old Mint Tower that he and Oscar Acosta stayed in back in that foul year of our Lord, 1971....

The question is who has the $$$ to undertake such a purchase and renovation? The first choice would be Landry's, as I think Binion's would make a nice sister property to the Golden Nugget. Second choice, Jack Binion, but at age 74, he's may be too old to want to undertake such an endeavor.

You almost wonder how things would have turned out had Ted been able to get his drug problems sorted and was able to regain his gaming license and Becky not taken over the place and run it into the ground. The World Series Of Poker more than likely would have remained, as would have the Binion's Horseshoe name as Harrah's wouldn't have bought the place for the WSOP and Horseshoe name, and we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.

Hellllllo 1981. Also, and most importantly, where did Binion's find semi-hot chicks to work for them? Last time I was in there the Blackjack girls were totally the busted Daytona Beach strippers circa 1994

Binion's owner Terry Caudill has recently made an open plea for investors so he can redo the joint. I think that potential investors are going to keep an eye on how The Plaza does first. And also what happens with ADR's. Just as they are increasing, both The Plaza and Caesars are dumping more rooms on the market. (Yes, I understand that they are not after the same customers, but the combination will have an impact on all ADR's).

Not sure a boutique hotel will really fly downtown. The boutique hotel crowd is still the person who generally turns their nose up at "white-trashy" downtown. This could change as Fremont East gains more traction and Zappos moves in. Downtown is slowly becoming cool.

Love the idea of a BBQ joint. Las Vegas (as a whole) is really lacking there and the tourist areas are no exception. I don't mean Tony Roma's. I mean a down-home place that really serves up some righteous que. Right now, I drive up to North Las Vegas to load up on BBQ: http://g.co/maps/c4vk2 Awesome food, reasonable prices, no dining area, terrible neighborhood. My friends and I joke that it is so good, it is worth getting shot over.

I can see it now: Shrimp cocktail appetizer at Golden Gate, then BBQ at Binion's washed down with some cold PRB's and a shot of Bulleit Bourbon followed by a Rocky Patel cigar. I'm in!

One last thing...has anyone ever seen the Binion's limo in person? The one with the bullhorns in the grill? We're searched high and lo for it last time we were out there and were told by all the staff at Binion's "It's parked in the parking garage." I just wanna see it and how ridiculous I'm sure it is

So, basically, drop $100 million on renovations for a hotel where rooms would be $40 a night, drop the casino take to a point where it wouldn't support the cost of operation of the casino floor, and position yourself to play to a demographic that doesn't stay downtown. Sound business plan.

^^ the reason why hotel rooms are 20-40 per night is because that is all they are worth. my point is that if you give binions a thorough thrashing that puts it in the class of, but an alternate universe to the Golden Nugget, not only would you compete with GN and crush the other downtown joints, the synergy of healthy competition would draw eyeballs and people from the strip as well. This is exactly what was going on between Wynn owned GN and the final glory days of the Binions empire. Rising tide raises all boats.

If you were to give Binion's rooms similar to the Golden Gate's renovations a few years back, it would definitely elevate the property to at or above the Boyd Gaming properties. With the right renovations, they could have rooms nicer than the cheapest rooms at the Golden Nugget (Carson Tower) and charge slightly less. Binion's could easily charge $79/night on the weekends if they had really nice rooms. They could give the rooms in the original Horseshoe side of the property a slightly cheaper redo and offer them as slightly lower room rates.

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